Brewery Review: Broken Compass Brewing

Looking for a great mountain brewery in summit county? Try Broken Compass Brewing.

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During my last visit to Keystone, my husband and I decided to check another craft brewery off our list. He had recently read an article about some of the top breweries in the state, and Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge made the list.

I knew there was another brewery in Breckenridge, but I’d never made it there in past visits. This time, I wasn’t going to miss my chance. And I’m glad I made the drive over to check out this local favorite.

A Little Background

Broken Compass is the long-time dream of founders David Axelrod and Jason Ford. They started working on the brewery in 2013, and opened in May 2014, with a lot of help from Ford’s wife, Jo who brought in much of the business savvy. Ever since it opened, crowds of locals and visitors have crowded into the taproom to sample Broken Compass’ delicious line up of beers.

Brewery Atmosphere

The taproom, located right next to the brewery, is a cozy spot where friends can gather over a pint and a board game. The room is filled with long wooden tables, a re-purposed chair lift and an impressive wooden bar with over a dozen beers on tap.

There are shelves full of games, making it a perfect place for families to bring their kids. An old garage door in the back opens to a parking lot and a side patio. This is where we spent our visit, soaking in the sunshine. Dogs are welcome, and there’s no requirement to have them on a leash.

Broken Compass Brewing
Patio view. Credit: Broken Compass Brewing
Broken Compass Brewing
Live music at Broken Compass. Credit: Broken Compass Brewing

There’s a small stage area in the front of the taproom, where artists perform, usually on the weekend. On Mondays, Broken Compass hosts potlucks, where guests bring food to share. Everyone tries all the dishes and vote for their favorite three. After the votes are tallied, the winners are announced. Unfortunately, we were there on a Saturday and couldn’t enjoy the potluck festivities. Even so, we loved the vibes at Broken Compass, and I’d definitely plan in visiting again.

Service

The staff at the bar was very friendly. My husband and I usually order tasters to get a feel for the different beer styles, and we were given great recommendations. Even with a busy taproom, they never rushed us or appeared inpatient. When I went back up to the bar to order a growler, I received friendly, prompt service.

Beer Selection

As I mentioned, we always order a flight. It’s the best way to get a taste of what a brewery has to offer, and you don’t have to fully commit to a pint if you end up not liking it. IMG_2430 (3)Below is the selection we ordered:

  • Helles – 5.4% ABV, 18 IBU
  • Hefeweizen – 5.3% ABV, 16 IBU
  • Irish Red – 6.0% ABV, 20 IBU
  • Coconut Porter – 5.9% ABV, 28 IBU
  • Chocolate Coffee Stout – 6.2% ABV, 26 IBU
  • Ginger Pale Ale – 5.9% ABV, 20 IBU
  • Mosaic IPA – 5.3% ABV, 60 IBU
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged FDFH Brown – 8.5% ABV, 70 IBU

My favorite was the Irish Red. The sweet maltiness and deep flavor won me over, which is why we had to get a growler to take home to enjoy. Second place goes to the Hefeweizen, with a subtle hint of clove and banana aromas. Third place is a tie between the Helles and the Bourbon Barrel Aged FDFH Brown, two completely different styles, but both very flavorful.

According to Untappd, the top rated beers from Broken Compass are the Coconut Porter, Chocolate Coffee Stout and the Ginger Pale Ale. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the Coconut or Ginger, but the beauty of beer is that there’s something for everyone and not all beers are for everyone. I don’t like coconut in general, but I gave it a try. It was far too sweet for my palate, but my husband gladly finished it. As far as the Ginger, I think that’s another flavor you either love or you hate. It’s not too overpowering, but it was a little too much for me.

Food Options

Broken Compass does not serve food, but you can bring your own. Many people were munching on snacks they brought from home, while others ordered food for delivery. We picked up sandwiches and flatbread from a nearby cafe.

Tours

The brewery does offer tours, but due to the small space, they can only run tours when it’s slow. You’ll need to call ahead to see if they can accommodate you.

If you go…

Location: 68 Continental Court, Unit B12, Breckenridge, Colorado 80424

Hours: 11a.m. – Close (usually around 10p.m.,  but can stay open later)

Directions: Check out the Broken Compass website.

 

2 comments on “Brewery Review: Broken Compass Brewing”

  1. Sounds like a fun way to spend a day! The patio is gorgeous and I LOVE when places let you bring your own food if they don’t sell it. And you’re totally right about not needing to commit if you don’t like something – I usually try to get something slightly different than whomever I’m there with so we can trade our tasting glasses if we don’t like something (though even if I don’t love it, I’m not one to leave a glass empty… gotta get my $$s worth, ya know?! lol)

    1. Definitely know what you mean about getting your money’s worth. I rarely leave a glass empty even if I’m not the biggest fan of that beer.

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